That interesting conversation below about how it's important to "defend your faith" to maintain power over others feels so foreign to me. The idea of your faith's purpose to be obtaining or maintaining power over others doesn't sound like faith. It sounds like what several kings and emperors tried to do in the last millennium, and we know how it all ended up for them.
Over the years, we've had many debates about what constitutes faith, and the consensus on all sides has always been that nobody else can define or dispute someone else's faith, because it is specifically something very personal and without proof (if there was proof, it would not be faith). How can something that is both personal and without proof be simultaneously something used to control others and hold power over them? That makes it not personal, and insists there is some sort of tangible proof, otherwise, what makes it worthy of holding power?
I can understand someone's personal faith. I can understand faith so fervent, the person who has it feels devastated that others don't have the same exact variety and category of it. Where that stops is when someone feels their personal religion is so important, it must have power that applies to anyone but the person with the faith and any higher power/world/deities that faith is in.
I believe there are people with ulterior motives who want power over others - some may even be sincere, if misguided. I believe there are are people who want so desperately to be right, they'll say or do anything to convince others to agree with them - up to and including going against the very tenets of the faith they're trying to protect. I do not for a second believe there is any legitimate instance of faith that cannot thrive unless it is on display and held in awe by others. Is that just me?
Answer by older at 3:40 PM on Sep. 5, 2012Credits: 2037259 Level 68 Religious Debate Major
Answer by Izsarejman at 3:41 PM on Sep. 5, 2012Credits: 182428 Level 44 Religious Debate 101
Answer by sahmamax2 at 4:01 PM on Sep. 5, 2012Credits: 73412 Level 35 Religious Debate Degree
Answer by sahmamax2 at 4:05 PM on Sep. 5, 2012Credits: 73412 Level 35 Religious Debate Degree
Answer by skinnyslokita at 5:40 PM on Sep. 5, 2012Credits: 43311 Level 30 Religious Debate Minor
Answer by sahmamax2 at 5:45 PM on Sep. 5, 2012Credits: 73412 Level 35 Religious Debate Degree
Answer by AF4life at 6:04 PM on Sep. 5, 2012Credits: 161895 Level 43 Religious Debate Minor
Having once been religious, I understand wanting others to believe what I did. My perspective has changed, clearly. I believe that most organized religion has potential to be dangerous - something that history has proven to us time and time again. Because of that, I do wish we could get past our superstitious natures and start to look at the world in more rational ways. I know, though, that most people cannot do that for a myriad of reasons, and considering that, I wish they would be mindful that religion should be a personal matter - and to try to force religious beliefs on others or make laws that are based purely on religious beliefs - is a bad idea in every sense. I don't understand how those of faith really feel that forcing others to follow the dictates of their religion would benefit anyone.
Answer by jsbenkert at 7:41 PM on Sep. 5, 2012Credits: 87630 Level 37 Religious Debate Degree
Answer by okmanders at 10:11 PM on Sep. 5, 2012Credits: 136248 Level 41 Religious Debate Degree
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Are you planning on reading this? I have ordered it.